Boris Johnson is ‘scared’ of democracy says Nicola Sturgeon
However, the former Labour Prime Minister has been warned by a leading Brexiteer that not only would his “top-sided” devolution proposals not work, but would actually make the current situation worse. Mr Brown, who succeeded Tony Blair in 2007 before being ousted as a result of the 2010 general election, has had cross-party talks with Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Mr Gove centred around strategies for preventing Scotland breaking free from the United Kingdom.
he former Chancellor is calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to consider ideas including replacing of the House of Lords with a “senate of the regions”, as well as undertaking a wide-ranging review of the way in which the UK is governed, the Sunday Times reported yesterday.
Nevertheless John Redwood, Tory MP for Wokingham, has dismissed his proposals.
He tweeted: “Gordon Brown’s lopsided devolution policy fuelled Scottish nationalism and is unfair on England.
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His latest suggestions would make things worse
“His latest suggestions would make things worse.”
In a separate post he added: “No need for another vote in Scotland on staying in the UK so soon after the last one.
“The SNP said once in a generation. Set out the advantages of the UK’s single market, currency and defence Unions. Spare us Project Fear again.”
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Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Brown claimed the “the choice is now between a reformed state and a failed state”.
He said: “It is indeed Scotland where dissatisfaction is so deep that it threatens the end of the United Kingdom.
“For the first time, a majority of Scots now feel, according to recent polls, that Scotland and the rest of the UK are moving inexorably in opposite directions and nearly half of all Scots who have a view believe – against all the evidence – that Scotland would be better off economically independent, and they feel that the Union undermines Scotland’s distinctive identity.”
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Mr Brown urged Mr Johnson to set up a commission on democracy, explaining: “The commission will discover that the United Kingdom urgently needs a forum of the nations and regions that brings them and Boris Johnson together on a regular basis.”
The senate of the regions would complement this idea, he added.
A Cabinet spokesman said the question of Scottish independence had been settled decisively by the referendum on 2014.
They added: “Now, more than ever, we should be pulling together to strengthen our United Kingdom, instead of trying to separate it”.
A Panelbase poll of 1,206 Scottish residents interviewed between January 19 and 22, which was commissioned by the Sunday Times and published yesterday, indicated 49 percent backed independence compared to 44 percent against – a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent if the undecideds are excluded.
Chief Minister Ms Sturgeon has said she will call an advisory Scottish referendum if the SNP emerges victorious in May’s Holyrood elections.
However, Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross said his party would boycott any poll conducted without approval from Westminster, branding the idea “divisive”.
He declared: “I would take no part in that.
“And I would hope anyone – not just unionist supporters – but people who support democracy, should not take part in these wildcat, unofficial referendums.
“So, yes, I would make that plea to Scottish Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and anyone who believes in democracy in Scotland.”
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